Speaker Lingo

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by LKNJ, Jul 23, 2019.

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  1. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    I’ve played guitar for about 20 years, using mostly the same couple of amps during that time. And while I’ve modified and put together a bunch of guitars in that time, I’ve never had much interest in speakers. Recently I was forever to swap some out and some of the terms used to describe speakers have really confused me. Here are some examples:

    1. Fast response
    2. Modern vs vintage
    3. American vs British

    The British vs American thing is something that I thought I understood - I certainly understand the difference between a Vox and a Fender. But, then I tried a G10 Vintage (supposedly a very British speaker) in a Fender Vibrolux, and it still sounded very American and Fender-like to me.

    The fast response phrase, I don’t know what to make of at all.

    So, as it relates to speakers, what do all these terms mean?

    Thanks!
     
  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    IMO, if you picked some speakers identified as "fast response" by the local heroes, and also some speakers dubbed "slow response", and did a blind test with identical cabs, no one would be able to identify which were which, beyond blind flip-of-a-coin luck.
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The G10V is a 'very modern'. Speaker. It is neither classic Vox in terms of trebly bright, nor classic Marshall.

    There's no roolz for speakers, and one man's meat is another man's poison. Fender sell some amps with Celestions. Some people love 'em some people hate 'em.

    But classic Marshalls probably won't maybe sound as classic Marshall through speakers ideal for classic Fender tones. And vice versa. Because the amps are different.

    Is that good? Is that bad? Should you care?

    Only you can answer. If you are not shooting for any particular style or sound any or all of them could perhaps work fine for you.
     
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  4. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Marketing speak.. but I know Celestion Blues and EVMs are my favourites purely by experience.

    Some speakers can be dull and stiff and some can really sing and sparkle and add a flavour like the Celestion Blue and some can be ultra clear, almost HiFi like at high volume and efficient like the EVM

    I struggle to see how my descriptions match those you list though. Each speaker is part of a system when with an amp and that system will have its own flavour.
     
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  5. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    You're right: British speakers (even Vox vintage originals) won't turn a Fender into a Vox. Circuits matter.

    And the guys here are right. Words fail.

    Speakers may be the most expensive single part we might change in an amp and can sound very different (we can easily hear big basic things like efficiency and frequency curve). And most of us have no way to A:B them in real time (much less in blind testing) so objective comparison is out.

    Ta dah... enter the marketing department. Some of these terms have 'relative' meaning (ceramic magnets may be considered 'faster' than alnico in that they don't saturate or compress). But most of the hype out there is just hype, and you can mostly ignore it.

    You can gather the opinions of many other users (popular here). But this is a bit like crowd-sourcing the question of who to marry. We aren't you, and don't know how you hear and what you like.

    It's helpful to know what you like. I like Fender amps, and I find I like alnico speakers, so I use 'American' alnicos. But hey, if you offered me a Celestion Blue, I'd happily pay the shipping!

    This is where honest experts come in. They can translate "I want a home speaker for a small Fender tweed to play classic blues and some Knopfler tones" into specific speakers. Maybe alnico, smaller magnet, smaller voice coil, ribbed cone, slightly thinner paper, etc. I usually email CJ at Weber for his thoughts on each amp I build, or for another example I recently picked up a speaker recommended by TDPRI expert Wally to put in my 6G2, and it kills.

    The late great Ted Weber was the epitome of an honest expert, and you can get a lot of honest objective info from his Q&A pages:

    https://www.tedweber.com/lets-talk-speakers/
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    To me "fast response" or"pick responsive" is a thing mostly for paper voice coil speakers.
    It IS a thing, but you are not going to sit down and A/B two speakers and immediately say "wow that's different". However, if you spend a gig playing paper VC speakers you will get it.

    It's the reason people covet the old Jensen P10R's (think Tweed Bassman) or the newer Emi Blues,(Bassman reissue etc) or the CTS Alnico's in Super Reverbs or the P12R in an old tweed Deluxe. They are fragile speakers, but do have a slightly different response to playing. Totally a nuance though that the musician will feel but the listener wont that much. It's like comparing a .009 high E string to a .010 high E string!
    It's physics; It takes more energy to get a larger mass moving. Kaptan and other heat resistant voice coils are heavier than a thin piece of paper.
     
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  7. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    But what exactly is “fast response?”
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's latency in every thing electronic. Fast response would be shorter time latency. It's a nit pik thing, but then everything we talk about here is mostly! Also, if something is more "sensitive" to picking it reacts differently and you recognize it as such. So maybe a more subtle picking nuance is responded to better by a light weight speaker. My JBL Stereo speakers had a minimum wattage listed on the back, (most often speakers are discussed citing maximum power you can use with them) maybe the JBL's show that because it takes a certain amount of power to move them at the best sound producing level. Try turning a guitar amp all the way down except just hint of sound. How's the tone?

    Latency Definition. Latency is the amount of time a message takes to traverse a system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  9. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    Cool. Thanks!
     
  10. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    What bugs me is that none of the Emenence Patriot speakes are built like classic American speakers, certianly not like vintage Jensens, Oxfords or CTSs, not even JBLs, EVs, or Altecs. Although they have some speakers in the Legend and Signature lines that are similar to some of those classics.
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, the only paper Voice Coil speakers I know of are Weber CVC or CTC. They are clones of the super reverb style speakers and are great. Not sure if they still make the alnicos though. I had a set of both alnico and ceramic years ago. But the price went way up after that, they are just lightweight speakers, so not worth the $ to me.
    "Same cone, coil, and other parts as the ceramic CTS 10" used in Super Reverbs and other amps in the mid 60's and later.
    10", 20oz ceramic magnet, 8 ohms, 25 watts, 1-1/2" voice coil with paper former and softened, aged, seamed cone. Light Dope standard
    Brighter than the AlNiCo version, a little punchier with a smooth distortion tone. The lower sensitivity of this speaker allows more overdrive and distortion from the amp at lower volumes. The breakup is later and relatively smooth."


    But I think the Emi Blues, (or now the right version 1028) made for Fender are paper coils aren't they?
     
  12. dan40

    dan40 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    To me, fast response speakers would feel snappy and quick as you play whereas slow response would be sluggish and more forgiving. If you have ever played an amp with a ss rectifier and high filtering, it would feel very quick and responsive under your fingers...just the opposite of an amp with a tube rectifier and lower filtering. That would feel saggy and slow under your fingers. Both of these examples would be something you would feel more than you would hear when playing.
     
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  13. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    The Weber CTC10 has a 1.5" voice coil, which is not like the classic from the 60s that had a 1" voice coil.

    I sent some 1967 10" CTS alnicos to Weber for reconing. The originals had some kind of screen cover right on the voice coil. They came back with a curved seemed cone similar to the originals, but they had paper dust caps, not like the originals obviously. I didn't ask what the voice coil material was. They sound good though mixed with two orginals (not reconed) in my Super Reverb.

    The Eminence 1028k is supposed to be a copy of the "10 CTS alnico with the 1" voice coil. Supposedly you can custom order the 1028p with a paper voice coil. The newer ga10-sc59 appers to be the same speaker with a paper voice coil, but it has a felt dust cap.
     
  14. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    I think you are talking about paper "formers" vs. kapton, not paper "coils" or voice coils.
    Al
     
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  15. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    yes. semantic short cuts!
     
  16. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's too bad, Weber has those screen covers too. They should have known better.
    The Weber Vintage Chicago series had 4 styles in the beginning, now they are down to the one style. Maybe some of the others were the 1" VC. I think so but I cant remember. But I thought the CTS were bigger than 1"...?

    I had 4 CTS Alnicos reconed for my 66 Super. Back then Orange County Speaker was doing them and they did them perfect. speakers done and back in less than 2 weeks! I would think today's GA SC 64-10 would get a person close to the SUper Rev ceramic sound.
     
  17. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Tele-Afflicted

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    A voice coil consists of a former, a collar, and a winding, so while it may not be completely appropriate to say 'paper voice coil', it's not exactly wrong either.

    I'm not sure when CTS switched to the 1.5" voice coil, but it must have been during or after 1969, because I have a 69 that is 1".

    Screen dust caps are not what I'm talking about. Whatever it was they put on those didn't attach to the cone. It's definitely not felt. It feels like a screen, but it's only attached to the voice coil. Here's my 1966s...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. W.L.Weller

    W.L.Weller Tele-Meister

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    Point well taken, but if you're after Twin tones at anything approaching Twin volumes, you can do a lot worse than the Red White and Blues or Texas Heats. The low frequencies hold together and there's as much treble as anyone could ever need.
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, Looks like screen to me, but they do have that additional hard ring around the perimeter, unlike a Weber screen dustcap. A screen dust cap is said to tame the high end just a smidge. Of course it's attached to the cone, The voice coil must be attached to the cone after all.... right?
     
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